Launched in 1999 and updated regularly, Statewatch News includes our own reporting and writing as well as articles, announcements, documents and analyses from elsewhere on civil liberties, EU policies and state practices. You can receive updates in your inbox by signing up to our mailing list, or use an RSS feed to get instant alerts.

13 July 2020

Brexit: Commission prepares for the end of the transition period; concerns over citizens' rights

The European Commission has published a Communication setting out the changes that will take place when the Brexit "transition period" comes to an end on 1 January 2021, no matter what the outcome of negotiations between Britain and the EU. Citizens' rights groups are concerned that many EU member states do not yet have legislation in place to ensure British citizens with the right to stay can do so.

13 July 2020

The 'Easter Massacre' in the Mediterranean: Human rights groups submit criminal complaint

Over the Easter weekend, 12 people died and 51 were 'pulled back' to Libya in a case where a vessel in distress lay within the Maltese SAR zone and on the fringe of Italy's territorial waters for hours, but no action was taken by Maltese or Italian authorities to conduct a rescue. Human rights group submitted a criminal complaint earlier this month, demanding that the possible complicity of the Italian authorities be investigated.

13 July 2020

Northern Ireland: Arrest warrants for investigative journalists overturned

The High Court in Belfast has quashed the arrest warrants issued for investigative journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey. The two were subject to police investigation and arrest for their work on a documentary on the 1994 Loughinisland massacre, in which members of the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitary killed six people and wounded five.

10 July 2020

EU: Here we go again (again, again): push for asylum centres at the external borders

Those not expelled following an unsuccesful asylum claim or relocated following a succesful one would "end up in some sort of facility," reports EUobserver.

10 July 2020

UN: Armed drones: Special Rapporteur examines the dawning of the "second drone age"

The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, has issued a new report examining the expanding use of armed drones.

10 July 2020

Greece: Unrest as government passes new anti-protest law

There have been demonstrations across Greece against a new law which introduces a requirement to apply for a 'licence to protest'. In Athens, where more than 10,000 people gathered in opposition to the new measures, police reportedly detained 24 people. Violence broke out when a group of protesters threw petrol bombs at police, who responded with tear gas and flash grenades. Demonstrations have been held outside courts in support of those arrested.

09 July 2020

Malta: Renewed call for justice 1,000 days after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia

A dozen human rights group have signed a statement calling for those involved in the killing of Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia to be brought to justice, 1,000 days after her assassination and in the wake of "yet more disturbing revelations of state corruption and impunity".

09 July 2020

Europol: plans afoot to legalise unlawful acts

The European Commission recently launched a consultation on possible changes to Europol's mandate, which would give the policing agency greater data-gathering and processing powers. Some of the proposals under consideration would legalise ongoing activities for which there is currently no legal basis, such as the processing of the personal data of innocent people. Statewatch's submission to the consultation called for a much broader discussion on the agency's role and operations.

09 July 2020

COVID-19 opens the way for the use of police drones in Greece

As part of EDRi's series on 'COVIDTech', Greek digital rights organisation Homo Digitalis examines how the pandemic has provided the perfect opportunity for Greek police to make use of new rules allowing the deployment of drones for law enforcement purposes.

09 July 2020

Black Lives Matter – whatever their nationality

Migration scholar Bridget Anderson examines how and why politicians can declare that 'Black Lives Matter' whilst ignoring how racism and contemporary migration policies intersect.

08 July 2020

In-depth investigations into policing and cross-border DNA exchange in the EU

The EXCHANGE project, run by the University of Minho in Portugal, has been investigating the cross-border transfer of DNA through the EU's Prüm system and has produced a number of articles of interest.

07 July 2020

German government split over police racial profiling study

German interior minister Horst Seehofer wants to press pause on a planned study on racial profiling by the country's police forces, but the justice minister, Christine Lambrecht, has said it is "right and important" that the study take place.

06 July 2020

State of emergency declared on Mediterranean rescue ship

Following six suicide attempts by rescued persons, the crew of the Ocean Viking ship have declared a state of emergency on board. Repeated requests to Italy and Malta to provide a port for disembarkation have either been refused or gone unanswered.

06 July 2020

Denmark may return Syria refugees as Damascus area deemed ‘safe’

According to press reports, the Danish government is claiming that Damascus is 'safe' and is now undertaking a review of the residence permits of some 900 Syrian refugees from the city.

06 July 2020

EU: Travel data to be used for public health purposes?

The German Council Presidency has asked member states whether they are using passenger data collected by airline companies to track people infected with COVID-19, with an eye to expanding the scope of EU legislation on the issue. Currently EU rules are limited to using passenger data for "preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting terrorist offences and serious crime."

04 July 2020

UK: Covid gave the Government extra powers, but our human rights are at stake if they don’t let them go

Martha Spurrier, Director of Liberty, calls for the repeal of the UK's draconian Coronavirus Act, 100 days after it passed into law.

03 July 2020

Greece’s new asylum system designed to deport, not protect

Press release from Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees.

02 July 2020

EU: Study on the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant

A study on the implementation of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) commissioned by the European Parliament's civil liberties commitee (LIBE) concludes that it "has simplified and sped up handover procedures, including for some high-profile cases of serious crime and terrorism," but that there are ongoing challenges "concerning judicial independence, the nature of mutual recognition and its relationship with international and EU law and values, constitutional principles and additional harmonisation measures."

01 July 2020

Cyprus: Call for action following conviction of human rights organisation for “defamation” and “harmful forgery”

KISA, a human rights organisation based in Cyprus, was recently convicted by the Supreme Court of “defamation” and “harmful forgery” over a 2010 document calling on the government to rescind the appointment of Christos Clerides and Xenis Xenofontos to the Management Board of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).


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